Blip in the Zeitgeist for WoW?

Is MMORPG World of Warcraft in danger of plunging to its doom from the top of a burning ziggurat, or will the heroic fantasy rise up to slaughter the legions of Undead scrabbling to consign it to the tomb?

Recent reports are that WoW’s subscriber base dropped by 800,000 this quarter, a massive jump on the 300,000 players that hemorrhaged from the classic role-playing game in the second quarter. Compared to October last year, when there was a peak of some 12 million subscriptions, the number of players currently stands at around 10.3 million.

Game maker Activision Blizzard says the decline in subscriptions is down to players in Asia canceling rather than those in North America leaving the game. The company is hoping the forthcoming expansion pack to Mists of Pandaria will lure back veteran players and kick start interest for new subscribers to get signed up.

WoW is facing strong competition from the likes of DC Universe Online, which has been made free to play for PCs and PS3s, and the upcoming Star Wars The Old Republic that’s due for a December launch. Activision Blizzard are aware that to keep players interested in WoW they need the right product, which they hope the MoP expansion pack will provide. Meanwhile they are also looking at a faster development time for expansion packs.

Although stocks in the company went down following the news of WoW subscriber numbers, the business is keeping investors happy with the successful Modern Warfare 3.

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Filed in: Content Providers, Software